30 No. 5
Glossary of Terms Used in Immunotoxicology
The immunotoxicology of both organic and inorganic substances is presently of great interest in occupational and environmental health. A project has been ongoing to explore the immunochemistry of metals. Four technical reports have dealt with the molecular mechanisms of immune sensitization caused by metals [Pure Appl. Chem. 76: 1255–1268 (2004)], and critical evaluations of the use of three of the clinical tests potentially available for diagnosing specific metal allergies, namely the lymphocyte proliferation test [Pure Appl. Chem. 76: 1269–1281 (2004)], cytokine profiling [Pure Appl. Chem. 78: 2155–2168 (2006)], and evaluation of lymphocyte subpopulations [Pure Appl. Chem. 80: 1349–1364 (2008)]. Additional work on the effects of mercury, and particularly dental amalgams, on the immune system is in progress.
In preparing these reports, it became clear that there is an extensive specialized terminology foreign to chemists and not included in the Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicology (2nd ed.) [Pure Appl. Chem. 79: 1153–1344 (2007)] and Toxicokinetics [Pure Appl. Chem. 76: 1033–1082 (2004)]. In addition, a number of terms are somewhat ambiguous even within the discipline of immunology. Their careful definition will help to clarify regulatory and legislative discussion. A goal of the Division of Chemistry and Human Health is to incorporate precise chemical terminology into toxicology and risk assessment and, reciprocally to merge toxicology into the terminology used by chemists. We believe that a Glossary of Terms Used in Immunotoxicology will add significantly to the value of the immunochemistry project, as well as serving as an essential addition to the toxicology glossaries referred to above. A projected outcome is a monograph based on the technical reports of the task group dealing with immunochemistry, supplemented by a glossary of correct terminology in this field.
For more information and comments, contact Douglas Templeton
last modified 22 September 2008.
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